Colour Society Of Australia, Knowledge, Inspiration, Community

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About us

Whether you are looking to broaden your knowledge or network with like-minded individuals, The Colour Society of Australia offers a unique opportunity to participate in a variety of informative, enjoyable and inspiring events.

The Colour Society is a not-for-profit organisation. Formed in Australia in 1987, it is a multi-disciplinary professional body, whose members share an interest in colour.

Events are independently organised by each State, with active divisions in NSW, Southern States (Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia) and Western Australia.

State Events

Art, design and the science of colour become the focus of regular events. Invited guest speakers present on topics to do with the use, application and experience of colour. Events may include site or showroom visits, as well as workshops.

National Conferences

Our biennial conferences are hosted by State Divisions in rotation, with the next one in Western Australia in September 2023.

National conferences are an ideal opportunity for CSA members from around Australia to come together and further explore, discuss and debate colour in its numerous applications. Hands-on workshops and social events are also part of the conference program.

Colour Society Rules Of Incorporation

Click below for a copy of the Colour Society Rules Of Incorporation

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Left: The sixteen Colour Society of Australia conferences from 1987 to 2021. Right: A flashback from CSA history: Delegates to the 1991 AIC interim meeting Colour and Light 91, hosted by the Colour Society of Australia just four years after its foundation, assemble on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. International speakers included Roy Berns, Werner Spillman, Roy Osborne, Tarow Indow, Janos Schanda, Lindsay McDonald, Osvaldo da Pos, Byron Mikellides, Anders Hård, Lars Sivik, and Gunnar Tonnquist.

A Short History of the Colour Society of Australia

The Colour Society of Australia was founded in 1986-87 to be the Australian Regular Member of the International Colour Association. As of December 2022, the Society comprises 153 financial members, about half of whom reside in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the other half residing in every other state and territory of Australia and a total of thirteen other countries around the world. We proudly number among our Australian membership one former AIC President, Nick Harkness, one former AIC Vice President, Dr Paul Green-Armytage, numerous participants in the editorial committees of AIC conferences, and two of the ten members of the committee of the AIC/ISCC Colour Literacy Project.

The CSA has always been a diverse and truly national society that organizes conferences and other events at the level of its state-based divisions, and the three original divisions established in 1986-87 in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia all remain active today. Long-lived and active divisions have also been created at various times in Queensland, the ACT, South Australia, and Tasmania whenever sufficient concentrations of members were present in those states, and there was also a division based for a short time in New Zealand. Our current National Executive Committee comprises office bearers from NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, who have widely varied backgrounds in design, art, science, fashion and education. They are President Mike Dixon, Vice President and NSW Divisional Chair Dr David Briggs, Secretary and Southern Division representative Glenys Thomson, Treasurer Emily Guo, Western Australian Divisional Chair Helen Ponton, and Membership Secretary Julie Blackmore, along with AIC Representative Annamaria di Cara. Our national Presidents have had similarly diverse backgrounds: Bryan Powell (film and television, NSW, 1986-1989), Dr Peter McGinley (colour measurement, Victoria, 1989-1993),  Paul Green-Armytage (design education, Western Australia, 1993-1997), Ken Pidgeon (science/ technology, South Australia, 1997-2001), Annamaria di Cara (design and education, NSW, 2001-2005), Derek Grantham (pigments and paints, Victoria, 2005-2009), Rex Hesline (architectural colour, Tasmania, 2009-2013), Glen Bowden (interior design, NSW, 2013-2015), Judith Briggs (architectural colour, NSW, 2015-2018), Jean Pretorius (art and technology, NSW, 2018-2020) David Briggs (art education, NSW, 2020-2022) and Mike Dixon (design).

The CSA has held national conferences about every two years since 1987, although in 1991 (just four after its foundation) and 2009 their place was taken by AIC conferences hosted by the CSA. These conferences have rotated regularly between the divisions: Colour in Design (Bentley, WA, 1987), Colour Renaissance (Melbourne, 1989), Colour & Light 91 (AIC Interim Meeting, Sydney, 1991), Colour in Flux (Adelaide, 1993), Colour Continuum (Melbourne, 1995), Colour for Life (Perth, 1997), Colour Interaction (Sydney, 1999), Colour in Focus (Adelaide, 2001), Colour Communication (Melbourne, 2003), Colour Through the Looking Glass (Freemantle, 2005), Marooned in the Colours of Queensland (Coolangatta, 2007), AIC 2009 (11th AIC Congress, Sydney, 2009), The Future of Colour (Launceston, 2011), Space, Time, Colour (Perth, 2014), Colour Speak (Brisbane, 2016), Perception & Colour (Melbourne, 2018), and our first online conference, Colour Connections (Sydney, 2021). The online format made it much easier for us to involve outstanding international speakers, but our previous conferences nevertheless were able to attract to our distant shores such colour luminaries as Roy Berns, Werner Spillman, Kurt Nassau, Roy Osborne, Tarow Indow, Janos Schanda, Osvaldo da Pos, Byron Mikellides, Karin Fridell Anter, Anders Hård, Lars Sivik, Gunnar Tonnquist, John Gage, Lindsay McDonald, Maria João Durão, Akiyoshi Kitaoka, Verena Schindler, Berit Bergstrom, Alexander Logvinenko, Vien Cheung, Ronnier Luo, John McCann, Brian Funt, Jose Luis Caivano, Arne Valberg, and many others.

In addition to our conferences, the main activities of the CSA have been the innumerable events organized by our regional divisions, mostly either live or online presentations, but also gallery, factory and studio visits, and social events. Pride of place each year is taken by our events celebrating AIC International Colour Day, beginning in 2013 when the Victorian, New South Wales and Tasmanian divisions each held a live ICD event. At least one division has put on a major ICD event each year since then, and photographs recording many of these events can be seen on our website. For our ICD 2022 event on March 20 (the day before ICD), six members of the committee of the ISCC/AIC Colour Literacy Project from around the world will give presentations relating to different aspects of colour education (see separate notice). This will be another free online event in the series that the NSW Division has been presenting since the beginning of the covid pandemic. If you are not a CSA member you can still stay informed about coming CSA events, as well as those of many other colour organizations around the world, by joining our mailing list of nearly 900 subscribers or our growing total of nearly three thousand accounts following us on Facebook and Instagram. Our new website, redesigned in 2018 by former Presidents Judith Briggs and Jean Pretorius, has links to many of our events from early 2019 onwards here, and has a growing Members’ Area in which CSA members can access video recordings or other resources from our recent webinars and Colour Connections. CSA membership is open to anyone around the world and is half price for remote Australian and international members and for full-time students and pensioners (“Associate” and “Concession” memberships respectively). For several years the CSA also presented prizes for students in subjects specifically dedicated to colour in Australian tertiary institutions, though unfortunately several of these subjects have been discontinued by their institutions recently.

We’re very proud of the diversity of aspects of colour that the CSA has touched on in the last few years in our online conference, webinar series, and other events, including the history of colour theory and practice, colour science and lighting technology, colour in nature, philosophy of colour, colour in architectural and interior design, colour in light art, painting, sculpture, and technological imaging, the phenomenology of colour, and colour education, and we’re delighted that our recent online activity is adding further to our interaction with the international colour community.

National Committee

Our national committee works hard to bring you the best colour related news, events and opportunities from Australia and around the globe.

International Affiliations

The Colour Society of Australia, as an endorsing society, is represented on the editorial board of the international journal Colour Research and...

Why I am a Member

Image courtesy of Laura Ockel

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